Travel Nursing by the Numbers in 2020 and Beyond
Many people are data-averse. They see numbers and their brains turn off — unless we’re talking about lottery numbers or data that’s personally relevant, of course. But data is important for so many reasons. It informs trends, proves theories, and helps us make good decisions. That’s why we’re delving into travel nursing data and breaking down some of the numbers behind this profession.
Take a look at some of the most interesting data points behind travel nursing and why they’re important for current travelers and prospective ones alike.
- There are approximately 25,000 travel nurses in the U.S.: Travel nursing is far from a niche profession, but it only makes up a portion of all registered nurse (RN) jobs in the country. The demand for travel nurses continues to rise as healthcare needs increase and the nursing shortage worsens. The door is open for more RNs to give travel nursing a shot!
- Travel nursing jobs grew 44% between 2018 and 2019: According to research by SimpliFi, travel nursing jobs grew by 44% between 2018 and 2019. This highlights the upward trend in travel nursing demand and the widening pool of opportunities available to new and seasoned travel nurses across the country.
- More than 1.1 million new nurses are needed by 2022: The American Nurses Association (ANA) states that more than 500,000 RNs are expected to retire by 2022. With the aging Baby Boomer population requiring additional nurses in the field, this creates a significant nursing shortage. About 1.1 million new RNs are needed to alleviate this shortage. Travel nurses are uniquely positioned to ease the pressure of nursing shortages by providing an extra hand to in-demand hospitals all over the country.
- Nurse employment growth is projected to be 11% in every state: Many factors are influencing the growth in nurse employment across the nation. The Affordable Care Act made access to healthcare easier, and more Baby Boomers are reaching an age where they require more frequent healthcare. This is opening up new opportunities for nurses. The ANA expects the most nursing opportunities to arise in the West. However, annual nurse employment growth is projected to be approximately 11% in every state through 2022. Travel nurses may be able to take advantage of opportunities in some of the fastest-growing states as healthcare systems work to meet demand.
- Travel nurses earn more than full-time staff RNs on average: Although the numbers vary based on the agency you work for and the assignment you take, travel nurses tend to earn between 15-20% more than full-time staff nurses do. Many travel nurses also receive housing stipends and bonuses. These can make working in the travel nursing field that much more lucrative.
The data doesn’t lie — now is a great time to become a travel nurse. With a significant need for registered nurses on the horizon, growing travel nurse opportunities across the nation, and the opportunity for higher pay and better benefits, travel nursing offers job security and much more.
Add these facts to the other positives, including the ability to see new places and rise to new challenges, and travel nursing is one career opportunity that’s too good to pass up!